Well, the day finally came. After the rumours, the production shots of Megan Fox as April O’Neil and after teasers and trailers, the newest live-action version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally came out. And I have to be honest … I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would.
When I heard that Michael Bay was going to have an hand in the newest TMNT, a franchise that is very near and dear to my boyfriend and cohabitation’s heart, I knew he was going to hate it, but that I would still be the one to be dragged to the theatre with him to see just how bad it was. Now, I know Michael Bay didn’t direct this (as some very rude Twitter peeps pointed out), but it’s still got the hallmark Bay stamp that we’ve come to know/love/hate (depending on the day and movie), which was a little concerning considering the subject matter. If you saw my Michael Bay rant earlier this week, you know I was kind of dreading going to see this movie, but as much as I hate to admit it, the movie was pretty entertaining.
Naturally, there were several things wrong with the whole story, though you had to know that the writers and producers weren’t going to make this particular plot exactly the same as all of its predecessors. Still, there were some grunts and scoffs coming from the manchild in the seat next to me at certain points in the movie, and he broke down the reasons why at length on our drive home. Shredder’s costume was a sore point, as it looked a bit too much like something out of the Transformers. The Turtles and Splinter themselves looked way too jacked up and truthfully terrifying (I saw several small kids in the theatre and can only imagine the nightmares these Turtles gave them) and Megan Fox was simply not redheaded enough to be April O’Neil (though she did keep her yellow jacket on for most of the movie, thankfully).
While I can’t imagine whom they could have cast in Fox’s place, I didn’t think she was all that great as April. Her backstory reminded me too much of that in the first Transformers, and it was a little difficult to differentiate the two characters, though I suppose this is becoming a very Megan Fox-esque role. Adding to that the incessant explosions (no doubt a request from Mr. Bay), and it was all a bit much.
On the flip side, the movie did have enough of that Turtles flair to be enjoyable. Mikey was goofy enough to warrant some laughs (just take a look at this scene) and there was of the whole Shredder/Splinter/Turtles/O’Neil backstory to make it recognizable for those classic TMNT fans. Truthfully, while the movie was decent enough, it was clearly catering to the newer generation of TMNT fans–the ones watching the shinier, more modern cartoon on Nickelodeon–and not at all the 27-year-olds who went to the theatre looking for a dose of nostalgia.
If you’re not seriously invested in the whole TMNT franchise and you’re just looking for a silly action-packed summer blockbuster, you’ll most certainly enjoy this. If you’ve grown up on these loveable reptiles, I would just recommend re-watching the 1990 movie instead.
Oh, and dear Cineplex, please make sure you have enough Ninja Turtles 3D glasses–glasses with the coloured bandanas around them–on opening weekend so some girlfriends don’t have to get dragged to three theatres on a Saturday night looking for an orange pair to no avail, only to have to go home with a grumpy man, sans glasses. Thanks.